Michael Main is the Managing Editor for NewsRadio 1200 WOAI.
Michael began his relationship with Clear Channel radio at Newsradio 1200 WOAI in 1985 as a writer/reporter and quickly added numerous responsibilities including key roles in producing WOAI's four hour morning drive newscast. He is the first person in the door each morning, if you can call 1:30 a.m. the morning.
Michael is responsible for coordinating much of Newsradio 1200 WOAI's on-air news product and also produces his daily "Cyberstuff" feature focusing on Internet and tech related topics.
Michael's reporting has won him national recognition. Honors he has won over the years include several Press Club of Dallas "Katie" Awards for Best General News story coverage, Best Radio feature, and Best Spot News story, all of which attest to the diversity of his skills.
Michael was an integral team member when Newsradio 1200 WOAI won Edward R. Murrow awards, the most prized awards in broadcast journalism in 1994 and 1996. He's also been honored by the Associated Press, the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism awards, UPI, and the Texas State Network.
Michael is responsible for writing the news product for various news readers on KJ-97 FM, KZEP-FM and Soft Rock 101.9 in San Antonio, and writes and anchors news each morning for Clear Channel stations in Corpus Christi, El Paso, Brownsville and Wichita, Kansas.
Michael is happily married to his wife, Amy. He is the proud stepfather of three grown children and grandfather to one very spoiled grandchild.
The biggest threat to your cellphone, computer or other electronic device may not be hackers or federal snooping agencies; it might be someone much closer to home.
Photo Credit: Dogshaming.com
A new survey by the electronics warranty outfit SquareTrade says pet damage is responsible for $3 billion in electronics repair and replacement bills annually. It's estimated every year they turn about 8 million gadgets into chew toys.
“After seeing so many claims come in that involved pets, we decided to look into the data and see just how big a problem this was. And the results were pretty astounding,” said Ty Shay, CMO at SquareTrade. “Using an $800 smartphone as a chew toy is a pricey slipup, not to mention it’s the device most of us can’t live without.”
The primary cause of damage as you might expect is chewing, followed by dropping our phones and laptops because we trip over our animals or they jump on us.
The survey polled 1200 pet owners and about one-sixth said they had electronics damaged by pets who pooped, peed or vomited on them.
Phones are by far the most frequently pet-damaged devices. The survey indicates male pets are 50% more likely to ruin our electronic gear than females and dogs are twice as likely to be in the doghouse for this type of thing than cats.
Interestingly, 17% of pet owners believe that their pet damaged the device because the animal was angry with them.
Have your pets ever damaged any of your electronics?
Researchers think there's a vast untapped energy source available to us and all we need to do is go fly a kite....underwater.
Researchers at Worchester Polytechnic Institute are studying ways to use underwater kites to generate electricity.
"Unseen under the waves, winding along coastlines and streaming through underwater channels, there are countless ocean currents and tidal flows that bristle with kinetic energy," said Dr. David Olinger the associate professor of mechanical engineering whose leading the team. "And just as wind turbines can convert moving air into electricity, there is the potential to transform these virtually untapped liquid 'breezes' into vast amounts of power. For example, it has been estimated that the potential power from the Florida Current, which flows from the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic Ocean, is 20 gigawatts—equivalent to about 10 nuclear power plants."
The undersea kites would have sturdy wings and could possibly be tethered to floating platforms similar to those used for oil and gas rigs. They're studying to see whether generators can be mounted directly onto the kites or if it might be better to have the generators on the platform.
There's still a long way to go, but the researchers think there's the potential to harness an amazing amount of energy much less expensively than those giant wind turbines.
"For one, the generators can be smaller, since with the figure-eight motion the kite will move three- to five times faster than the current, greatly amplifying the power output— which could be as much as 64 times greater than the output of a comparably sized stationary turbine," he said. "And, since the kites will be attached to floating platforms, rather than located on the sea floor, they will be substantially less expensive to install and easier to retrieve for maintenance."
Microsoft is looking at ways to create a better search experience by listening in on your smartphone.
The M.I.T. Technology review reports that Microsoft is studying ways to use the microphones on smartphones to help create a new way to search for restaurants and bars. When people "check-in" at a location, the phone would record about six seconds of ambient noise. Microsoft says it can then use an algorithm to determine if the place is crowded, if there is music playing and if the music is loud. It says it has about an 80% rate of accuracy.
Microsoft says this crowd-sourcing of data could then help you search for just the right place to eat or go party. For instance, you could search for a bar based on whether the music is loud and there's a lot of chatter, or you could search for a place to have a business lunch based on whether it's quiet enough to hold a conversation.
The fact is your phone can be an amazing data collection device. Companies are already using your phone to determine if there are traffic jams when you use certain mapping programs and utilizing the microphone may be the next step.
Of course there is a big question of privacy. I assume you'd have to give permission for the phone to collect sound snippets, but I'm not sure that would get around eavesdropping laws.
Microsoft promising that it will only record us when we give permission and only for a few seconds seems like it's also going to be a tough sell...but then again I'm used to figuring out if restaurants are crowded the old fashioned way, I look at how many cars are in the parking lot.
Creepy or not? What's your opinion?
A non-profit tech company is aiming to revolutionize health care in remote parts of the world with inexpensive cellphones.
Medic Mobile is working sub-Saharan Africa and
In many of these areas, people rely on community volunteer health workers to communicate with doctors and hospitals. Those workers often deliver the information personally by walking or riding bicycles to the nearest health care facility. That's a process that can take days.
While millions of people don't have easy access to doctors, 95% of the world now has cellphone service. By equipping community volunteers with cellphones and devising some simple texting apps, Medic Mobile believes the speed of health care can be improved dramatically. Not only will people be better able to report health issues, but with easier access they're more likely to continue to receive care.
The system may also revolutionize the way infectious disease outbreaks are tracked. Where before it took days to learn of a measles outbreak, now health agencies can be alerted in minutes.
Mobile Medic works with Hope Phones to recycle old cellphones and get them into the hands of community health workers. If you have old phones sitting around you can find out how to donate them (free shipping) here.